Mardi Gras Terminology


FAVOR – Gift or souvenir given by a Mystic Society member, usually at a bal masque, often depicting the years’ theme.


DOUBLOON – die struck, usually aluminum, coins bearing the society emblem and current theme.  Thrown by maskers and highly collectible


MARSHALL – A mystic member who rides masked and costumed on horseback between floats during a parade – throwing trinkets from his saddlebag.


COSTUME DE RIGUER – The formal attire required for those attending a bal masque held by a mystic society.  Generally white tie and tails for gents and full length gown for ladies.


MOON PIE - First thrown by Mobile mystic societies, this traditional marshmallow cookie has become a staple throw over the decades – here and elsewhere.


BOEUFF GRAS - French, literally ‘Fatted (Gras) Ox (Boeuf)’.  Traditional 16th Century Pre-Lenten feast first observed in Mobile in 1703


CORONATION – The formal event surrounding the king’s crowning of his queen.  The public is welcome by ticketed admission.


FLOAT BARN – The warehouse in which a mystic society stores and builds its floats.


CALL OUT – The presentation of favors by Mystics or Royalty to honor those in attendance, usually in exchange for a dance


KING CAKE – The traditional ring shaped pastry iced with purple, green and gold (sugar).  The finder of the hidden king baby gives the next king cake party.


TABLEAUX – A themed performance taking place at a bal masque involving skits, plays, music and choreography – mystics are the players


BARRICADES – Fencing designed to keep revelers a safe distance from the heavy parade floats. 


DEN – The term used to describe the secret meeting place of a Mystic Society.


BAL MASQUE - (pronounced ball mask) - The formal masked ball of a mystic society


MYSTIC SOCIETY - A secret organization that presents parades, bal masques, and other activities for the revelry and enjoyment of all.